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Five Film4-backed British films selected for London Film Festival

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Film4’s third collaboration with British director Steve McQueen will receive its European Premiere at this year’s London Film Festival. Set in pre-Civil War United States, 12 Years a Slave is based on an incredible true story of a free man who is abducted and sold into slavery. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, and is McQueen’s third feature following his critically-acclaimed and award-winning Shame and Hunger. The Accenture Gala screening will take place in October.

The four Film4 films in Official Competition at this year’s festival are:

Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin which has just premiered at the Venice Film festival. Part road movie, part science fiction, part real and starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien in human form, it’s a film about seeing ourselves through alien eyes. This is Glazer’s third feature following Birth and Film4’s Sexy Beast.

The Double is Richard Ayoade’s second feature following his Film4-backed debut Submarine. Based on Dostoyevsky’s novella of the same name it stars Jesse Eisenberg as a man whose life is interrupted by the arrival of his doppelganger.

David Mackenzie’s Starred Up stars Jack O’Connell as a troubled and explosively violent teenager transferred to adult prison where he finally meets his match – a man who also happens to be his father. Rupert Friend and Ben Mendelsohn also star.

The Selfish Giant is Clio Barnard’s second film after the award-winning Channel 4-commissioned The Arbor. The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about two teenage boys, Arbor and his best friend Swifty, who get caught up in the world of copper theft. It will soon receive its North American premiere at Toronto Film Festival following rave reviews on its World Premiere in Cannes earlier this year.

Tessa Ross, Channel 4 Controller of Drama and Film, said: “London is always a special festival for us and a great moment to spotlight British talent, so we’re thrilled to have such a range of films and talent heading there this year. Congratulations to Steve McQueen, Richard Ayoade, Clio Barnard, David Mackenzie and Jonathan Glazer for being selected as part of such a bold and much-anticipated programme – UK cinema audiences have much to look forward to over the coming months!”

Also announced today at the London Film Festival media launch in London were the nominations Best British Newcomer: from The Selfish Giant, actors Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas received nominations alongside Starred Up screenwriter Jonathan Asser.

London Film Festival takes place between 9th-20th October.

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